Structuring lay life

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
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SDC
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Structuring lay life

Post by SDC » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:25 pm

[Split from this thread.]
dylanj wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:58 pm
stop playing them. renounce them all forever. it's the best & only real option
What is preventing you from ordaining? It is the first question that comes to mind when I see practitioners trying to "monastify the laity". I used to be one btw. I'm honestly curious what you think about this and wondering if it is something you have considered. If you prefer such a strict lifestyle, why not ordain where the conditions are already the way you prefer? Why put the pressure on the laity?

(If this goes off topic we can move the discussion.)

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dylanj
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Structuring lay life

Post by dylanj » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:47 pm

SDC wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:25 pm
What is preventing you from ordaining? It is the first question that comes to mind when I see practitioners trying to "monastify the laity". I used to be one btw. I'm honestly curious what you think about this and wondering if it is something you have considered. If you prefer such a strict lifestyle, why not ordain where the conditions are already the way you prefer? Why put the pressure on the laity?
I have debt. I hope that I will ordain once that's gone.

I am not saying that all lay people should behave like monastics, to expect this is unrealistic. But lay people should understand that not doing such is a fault in them. The path is gradual, I'm not denying this either. But when one is at the beginning of the path they are more prone to suffering & less prone to liberation. This is just the reality of it, while we must tolerate people being at all stages of the path we should not pretend that the ideal for each & every being isn't total renunciation, total virtue, total & utter full-time commitment to the practice. Yet again, it takes beings time to reach this - due to their defilements. But I'm going to recommend to lay people that they go all-out, all the way, so there is no room for fooling oneself about the nature of one's lifestyle & for denying what the true goal & ideal is.

Besides, even if someone is going to live a lay life their whole life it is not "monastifying" for them to uphold the 8 precepts, which abstinence from video games would fall under. It was typical in the Buddha's time for the most devout lay people to do this. I myself uphold them nearly every day, with my immediate goal in practice to quickly make that permanent. It's not so hard when one reflects on this Dhamma & understands what the goal is, which is to give up everything.
Last edited by dylanj on Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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SDC
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by SDC » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:09 pm

Dude, thanks for the thorough response. I think this is worth a separate thread. I'll split it as soon as I get a minute.

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dylanj
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by dylanj » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:33 pm

SDC wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:09 pm
Dude, thanks for the thorough response. I think this is worth a separate thread. I'll split it as soon as I get a minute.
:anjali:
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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SDC
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by SDC » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:05 pm

Split from this thread.

How do we best structure lay life to get the most out of our practice? How close is too close when it comes to emulating monastics? Do we short ourselves an opportunity to discover Dhamma if we settle for the five precepts instead of eight?

Thoughts?

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Sam Vara
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:16 pm

SDC wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:05 pm
Do we short ourselves an opportunity to discover Dhamma if we settle for the five precepts instead of eight?

Thoughts?
I'd be permanently shorting myself of Mrs. Vara if I went for the eight. :shock:

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rightviewftw
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:27 pm

...
When this was said, Anathapindika the householder wept and shed tears. Ven. Ananda said to him, "Are you sinking, householder? Are you foundering?"

"No, venerable sir. I'm not sinking, nor am I foundering. It's just that for a long time I have attended to the Teacher, and to the monks who inspire my heart, but never before have I heard a talk on the Dhamma like this."

"This sort of talk on the Dhamma, householder, is not given to lay people clad in white. This sort of talk on the Dhamma is given to those gone forth."

"In that case, Ven. Sariputta, please let this sort of talk on the Dhamma be given to lay people clad in white. There are clansmen with little dust in their eyes who are wasting away through not hearing [this] Dhamma. There will be those who will understand it."

Then Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Ananda, having given this instruction to Anathapindika the householder, got up from their seats and left. Then, not long after they left, Anathapindika the householder died and reappeared in the Tusita heaven. Then Anathapindika the deva's son, in the far extreme of the night, his extreme radiance lighting up the entirety of Jeta's Grove, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowed down to him and stood to one side. As he was standing there, he addressed the Blessed One with this verse:

This blessed Jeta's Grove,
home to the community of seers,
where there dwells the Dhamma King:
the source of rapture for me.

Action, clear-knowing, & mental qualities,[1]
virtue, the highest [way of] life:
through this are mortals purified,
not through clan or wealth.

Thus the wise,
seeing their own benefit,
investigating the Dhamma appropriately,
should purify themselves right there.

As for Sariputta:
any monk who has gone beyond,
at best can only equal him
in discernment, virtue, & calm.

That is what Anathapindika the deva's son said. The Teacher approved. Then Anathapindika the deva's son, [knowing,] "The Teacher has approved of me," bowed down to him, circled him three times, keeping him to his right, and then disappeared right there.
i think it is supposed to be free-for-all at this point. Lay, monks, men & women.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
He goes to Niraya, the one who asserts what didn't take place, as does the one who, having done, says, 'I didn't.' Both — low-acting people — there become equal: after death, in the world beyond.
Tyranny of Words - An Introduction to General Semantics
How to Meditate: Mindfulness of Breathing
Factors of Enlightenment & Perceptions
How to Meditate: Basic Satipatthana
Parallel Dhammapada Reading

Meezer77
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by Meezer77 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:34 pm

I'm a chronic fidgeter. No way would I be able to emulate a monastic 😂

dharmacorps
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by dharmacorps » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:39 pm

One is health conditions which may probably preclude me from ordaining. Two, previous commitment--marriage :)

That said, I don't see any problem with lay people making their lives as close to monastic as possible if for whatever reason they can't ordain.

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rightviewftw
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:43 pm

Also there are bunch of women who do not have any place to ordain and a lot of people with Debt who are Householders.

The whole social and geo-political structure is very different now and it serves no good to pretend like the monastic way of practice is not the Ideal. One should monastify oneself as much as possible if one wants good gains.

Imagine NATO allied countries in opposition to a Buddhist-Alliance in the East, visa sanctions would make it impossible to ordain for westerners.

Obviously we should re-organize the infrastructure and i have many ideas.

Trust me in that if i could, id be ordained, not rotting away here. It is causing me a lot of stress not being able to train in a supportive enviroment and having to endure the lay-state as it is. There is 1 monastery in my country and they required me to allign myself, i am fixed in view i cannot do.
I also have debt complicating things so it is not like i am financially independent and not subject to circumstances.

I am not alone in my interpretation and there are communities where i would be with my family but they are few and scattered, dealing with uncontrollable states of their own in part because ordained in a Tradition with which they are not alligned with majority.

In many Theravada monasteries i am frankly not so welcome i think, i hope i am wrong on this but it seems like it. I have had my limited share of subjective experience. I feel like my position is treated worse than say Mahayana teachers or analogue by many Theravadins.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:33 am, edited 19 times in total.
He goes to Niraya, the one who asserts what didn't take place, as does the one who, having done, says, 'I didn't.' Both — low-acting people — there become equal: after death, in the world beyond.
Tyranny of Words - An Introduction to General Semantics
How to Meditate: Mindfulness of Breathing
Factors of Enlightenment & Perceptions
How to Meditate: Basic Satipatthana
Parallel Dhammapada Reading

Meezer77
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by Meezer77 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:55 pm

Probably not enough resources available for lots of lay people to ordain.

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rightviewftw
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by rightviewftw » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:27 am

Id say fake it until you make it, not the Monasticism but the Arahantship! We are lucky that the Tathagata was asked to Teach, he agreed so that those who could understand would be able to hear the good Dhamma. Then Anathapindika asked so that they would teach highest Dhamma to lay-people and this was approved. Women got their Sangha also by asking, this good Dhamma that we have available to us was given out of compassion and Gods bended knee begging for It to be taught, Lay Ariya were asking for it on our behalf, for our benefit and the teacher approved. To these beings i owe my householder life and i am proud to be a householder in this Dispensation.
He goes to Niraya, the one who asserts what didn't take place, as does the one who, having done, says, 'I didn't.' Both — low-acting people — there become equal: after death, in the world beyond.
Tyranny of Words - An Introduction to General Semantics
How to Meditate: Mindfulness of Breathing
Factors of Enlightenment & Perceptions
How to Meditate: Basic Satipatthana
Parallel Dhammapada Reading

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aflatun
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by aflatun » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:38 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:16 pm
SDC wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:05 pm
Do we short ourselves an opportunity to discover Dhamma if we settle for the five precepts instead of eight?

Thoughts?
I'd be permanently shorting myself of Mrs. Vara if I went for the eight. :shock:
:lol:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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rightviewftw
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by rightviewftw » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:57 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:16 pm
SDC wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:05 pm
Do we short ourselves an opportunity to discover Dhamma if we settle for the five precepts instead of eight?

Thoughts?
I'd be permanently shorting myself of Mrs. Vara if I went for the eight. :shock:
What do you think in light of this;
"Now, if anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven years, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance — non-return.

"Let alone seven years. If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for six years... five... four... three... two years... one year... seven months... six months... five... four... three... two months... one month... half a month, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance — non-return.

"Let alone half a month. If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven days, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance — non-return.

"'This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding — in other words, the four frames of reference.' Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words.
Id say it is better to get freakish resolve and push for 7+ days at max possible effort than keeping precepts for x amount of time. I do not see how this can be answered differently. It was obvious to me that that exact "precept" concept was given to people early for the need of rules and general guidelines.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
He goes to Niraya, the one who asserts what didn't take place, as does the one who, having done, says, 'I didn't.' Both — low-acting people — there become equal: after death, in the world beyond.
Tyranny of Words - An Introduction to General Semantics
How to Meditate: Mindfulness of Breathing
Factors of Enlightenment & Perceptions
How to Meditate: Basic Satipatthana
Parallel Dhammapada Reading

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bodom
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Re: Structuring lay life

Post by bodom » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:45 am

The goal for householders should be stream entry. After all the Buddha said that there were literally hundreds of lay followers who were stream enterers who still were still partaking of sensuality:
Is there a single a lay disciple, who wears white clothes, leads the holy life, while partaking sensual pleasures, and doing the work in the dispensation has dispelled doubts. Has become confident of what should and should not be done, and does not need a teacher any more in the dispensation of the Teacher. Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred. There are many more lay disciples of mine, wearing white clothes leadingthe holy life, while partaking sensual pleasures and doing the work in the dispensation have dispelled doubts Have become confident of what should and should not be done and do not need a teacher any more,' `Good, Gotama, wait! Other than the bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, the lay disciples who have arisen spontaneously and will not proceed, and the ones who have entered the stream of the Teaching and are confident, is there a single female lay disciple of good Gotama. Who wears white clothes leads the holy life has destroyed the five lower bonds to the sensual world, and is born spontaneously not to proceed' `Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred. There are many more female lay disciples of mine, who have destroyed the five lower bonds to the sensual world, and are born spontaneously not to proceed,' `Good, Gotama, wait! Other than the bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, lay disciples arisen spontaneously who would not proceed and the ones who have entered the stream of the Teaching and are confident and the lay female disciples who have arisen apontaneously not to proceed is there is a single female lay disciple. Who wears white clothes leads the holy life, while partaking sensual pleasures, anddoing the work in the dispensation has dispelled doubts, has become confident, of what should and should not be done and does not need a teacher any more. `'Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred. There are many more female lay disciples of mine wearing white clothes lead the holy life, while partaking sensual pleasures, doing the work in the dispensation have dispelled doubts. Have become confident of what should and should not be done. They do not need a teacher any more in the dispensation of the Teacher.
http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ta-e1.html

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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